Women to Watch in the Midterm Elections


In addition to the record-breaking number of women running for office this year, the representation of diverse and intersectional candidates is unprecedented. Here are some of the candidates who could make history.

Stacey Abrams
Georgia Governor
If elected… would be the first black woman governor in the U.S.

Abrams, who has already made history as the first black woman nominee, is running a tight race against the Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Aside from the possibility that the nation will elect its first black woman governor, race has played a major role in this campaign with many expressing concerns about widespread and systematic voter suppression that predominantly targets black voters. 

 

Marsha Blackburn
Tennessee Senate
If elected… would be the first female Senator from Tennessee.

 

Sharice Davids
Kansas Third
If elected… would be the first Native American woman in Congress.

Davids, a lawyer and former mixed martial arts fighter, will likely be one of two Native American women elected to Congress. Davids will also be the first Native American LGBTQ+ congresswoman.

 

Abby Finkenauer
Iowa First
If elected… would be the first woman from Iowa to serve in Congress.

At 29 years old, Finkenauer would technically be the second youngest woman serving in Congress. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is expected to win her election in New York’s 14th, is nine months younger.

 

Deb Haaland
New Mexico First
If elected… would be the first Native American woman in Congress.

There are a record number of Native Americans running for office in the midterms. Haaland, along with Sharice Davids, will likely be the first Native American woman to serve in Congress.

 

Christine Hallquist
Vermont Governor
If elected… would be the first openly transgender governor in the U.S.

Although not favored to win, Hallquist has already made history as the first openly transgender major-party nominee in the U.S.

 

Jahana Hayes
Connecticut Fifth
If elected… would be the first black woman from Connecticut in Congress.

Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, handily defeat her primary opponent even without the state Democratic party’s endorsement.

 

Paulette Jordan
Idaho Governor
If elected… would be Idaho’s first female governor and the first Native American governor in the U.S.

As a Democrat in a deeply red state, Jordan is unlikely to win, but she’s part of a growing movement to put Indigenous issues back on the agenda.

 

Kristi Noem
South Dakota Governor
If elected… would be the first female governor of South Dakota.

Noem has represented South Dakota in Congress since 2011. She is favored to win her election, in which case she will become South Dakota’s first woman governor.

 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
New York 14th
If elected… would be the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress.

Ocasio-Cortez made waves when she upset 10-term House Democrat Joe Crowley in June. If elected, she would be the youngest woman to serve in Congress.

 

Ilhan Omar
Minnesota Fifth
If elected… would be the first Muslim woman, along with Rashida Tlaib, in Congress.

Omar, a former refugee who came to the United States when she was 8-years old, would also be the first Somali-American in Congress, and the first woman of color to represent Minnesota. There was record-breaking turnout for her primary election in August, in which she beat her closest opponent by more than twenty thousand votes.

 

Gina Ortiz Jones
Texas 23rd
If elected… would be the first Filipina-American in Congress.

Ortiz Jones would also be the first openly gay woman of color elected to Congress from Texas and the first Iraq war veteran to represent Texas in Congress.

 

Ayanna Pressley
Massachusetts Seventh
If elected… would be the first black woman from Massachusetts to serve in the House.

Pressley, who is running uncontested, was the first black woman elected to the Boston City Council.

 

Rashida Tlaib
Michigan 13th
If elected… would be the first Muslim woman, along with Ilhan Omar, in Congress.

Tlaib, who is running unopposed, will likely be joined by another Muslim woman, Ilhan Omar, who is running in Minnesota. Tlaib will also be the first Palestian-American woman to serve in the House.

 

Lupe Valdez
Texas Governor
If elected… would be the first Hispanic woman and first LGBTQ+ governor in Texas.

Valdez, a former four-term Dallas County sheriff, has already made history as Texas’s first Latina and openly gay gubernatorial nominee.

 

Martha McSally or Kyrsten Sinema
Arizona Senate
If elected… would be the first female Senator from Arizona.

In one of the record-breaking five Senate races in which both of the major-party nominees are women, either McSally or Sinema will make history as the first female Senator from Arizona. Sinema, would also be the first openly bisexual Senator.